Raising children means having difficult conversations. At various points in their development, we must sit children down to talk about serious and, at times, uncomfortable topics like sex, drugs and death. In these conversations, we are challenged to push through the discomfort, be open, fra…

In two recent opinion pieces, Ginny Burley and Alan Saltis imply that the Vermont Legislature has made a big mistake in legalizing cannabis and working on ways to make the substance available legally and safely to the adult public — in other words, the hard work and rigorous study put in by …

“You forget your youth, that which, reckless, rises up to betray you. It’s your youth, forgotten these years, that you ultimately regret.” — William Styron, “Lie Down in Darkness.”

We seem to have forgotten our filters. We all have biases and opinions. But that adage of “think before you speak” seems to have been lost. Now, in this world of social media and instant gratification and rapid response, we are more likely to shoot first.

The legislature’s Next Generation Commission was asked to “develop a plan to encourage Vermonters to live and work in Vermont.” Six months later, it reported that “Vermont faces critical demographic shifts” and we must “implement bold strategies immediately if it is to retain its economic vi…

Last summer, the Joint Fiscal Office awarded a legislatively mandated contract to Resources for the Future, a Washington consulting firm, “to analyze the costs and benefits for Vermont of adopting and implementing policies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by Vermont’s consumpt…

Before getting all warm and fuzzy over Donald Trump’s lame stab at bipartisanship in his State of the Union speech last week, a look at his remarks during the luncheon preceding the annual address to Congress might provide a more accurate assessment of just how seriously the nation should ta…

Two weeks ago, something happened in Abu Dhabi, something important that deserves our attention. On Feb. 4, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (Egypt) and Pope Francis signed a joint statement titled “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” during their meeting in the city of Abu Dhabi…

I feel compelled to write this as a medical professional (Registered Nurse), woman, mother of two living children and one who has experienced abortion firsthand. The recent push to essentially remove all restrictions on abortion is extremely troubling to me and I believe it is also troubling…

The Vermont abortion rights bill (H.57), which is in the House now, protects a woman’s right to have an abortion — the same right she’s had in Vermont for 46 years. I strongly support this bill because people should not have to fight for access to safe and legal abortion.

The commentary Feb. 13, “The other side of abortion debate” by Chuck Laramie, is just plain stupid. This adds nothing of value to the discussion but, rather, stirs the pot, raises anger and hostility on all sides. It is just gross.

I ask you to support the Rutland Town Police Department budget on Town Meeting Day, March 5. I believe that our community needs to add an additional officer to help with things like night coverage, weekends and seven days a week. We are a large town and our current department has a heavy wor…

The Castleton Blue Line Club wants to extend its gratitude to Key Honda of Rutland for its partnership in this season’s puck shoot raffle. We didn’t give away a car this year, but the excitement and anticipation were palpable each time the 2019 CR-V was driven on the ice. Special thanks to K…

Concerning the Commonwealth of Virginia, it is time to chill and relearn some history. Hugo Black was one of the justices who voted to overturn segregation with the historic Brown v. Board of Education. Sen. Robert Byrd cast a decisive vote from a sick bed to bring affordable health care to …

I feel ashamed for our country due to the people who have announced for the presidency. It makes me sick to see their big smiles talking to the crowds. I think candidates are smiling cheek-to-cheek while saying to themselves, "Look at me, I am a big deal," as if it's a game.

Abortion is a very personal and complex issue. And I understand both sides, to some degree. Those who are pro-life believe in the sanctity of life, and that it begins at conception, even though that life is virtually undetectable for nearly a week. They also believe that only divine interven…

When I first arrived in Montpelier in January 2013, the talk in the halls under the Golden Dome was that of protecting the most vulnerable members of our society, meaning children and the elderly. Since then, politicians have passed an assisted suicide bill. This is an end of life bill. The …

If I could sit in the living room of every Rutland Town home, I would tell you how valuable, essential and critical our Rutland Town Police Department is. While we sat together, I’d have the opportunity to share with you and your family all of the great work these public servants do each day…

It’s not every day the Catholic Church actively seeks public input. Yet, here in Vermont, Bishop Christopher Coyne has been making it an increasingly regular occurrence. In recent weeks, Coyne has been crisscrossing the state, holding a series of town hall meetings in which local Catholics a…

Those in the Legislature who bring up these bitterly divisive culture war issues, be it the abortion bill proposed now or the gun bills passed last year and gun bills proposed this year, are throwing gasoline on the fires presently burning to ashes the bonds that once held this country together.

This morning, my dog, Fern, and I had a good discussion about toast and jam. Y’want something deeper? C’mon, she’s a dog. I was luxuriating in my lounge chair, about to partake in a toasted slice of pumpernickel slathered with butter and raspberry jam, when Fern, our elderly black Lab, amble…

Watching the two-year agony in the U.K. arising from the seemingly innocent referendum recommending that nation’s exit from the European Union, or "Brexit" for short, lends weight to the Herald’s editorial urging caution where a Constitutional Convention in the U.S. is concerned.

After reading my commentary asserting that Vermont’s promised contribution to global temperature trends will be undetectable, Dick Andrews advises that “The Herald should not waste space on commentary whose final conclusion is based on such childish thinking.”

The Vermont House went down the rabbit hole last week, passing Act 46 relief that requires school mergers to proceed apace in towns where citizens have had a chance to vote on a merger plan — even if they voted against it, by wide margins, more than once. The House wants the other unmerged d…

I have read many articles and listened to many reports lately in regard to abortion. I now feel compelled to respond. Those who are pro-life believe that abortion should be outlawed. Their reason or belief is that abortion is the murder of an unborn child.

As debate was ending in the Vermont State House last March and the Legislature was nearing final approval of laws that would impose the first serious restrictions on gun ownership in the state, Democratic State Sen. John Rodgers, of Glover, famously lamented, “I think maybe if we pass this b…

On my first day in the Vermont State Senate, two veteran Chittenden County senators in front of me turned around to ask me a question. Senators Sally Fox and Hinda Miller, in many ways political opposites from this new senator from the Kingdom, asked if I’d consider co-sponsoring a resolutio…

Feb. 5 marked the 26th anniversary of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which guarantees workers access to job-protected unpaid time off to welcome a new child, care for a family member or tend to one’s own illness or injury. It was also my older daughter’s 4th birthday. (How …

I am saddened to hear of the coming closure of Green Mountain College. As a former faculty member and administrator at Goddard College in Plainfield, I also mourn the stresses on other small liberal arts institutions that point toward more potential closings. The losses are not just to the b…